Hey, let’s kick today’s post off with an awesome piece of news.
If we raise $5000 on Bob Roll’s LiveStrong Challenge page by the end of the Tour of California, Bob will shave his head.
Click here to donate, or read on for details.
Here’s How It Happened
I talked to Chuck Ibis (Scot Nicol of Ibis, the guy who made it possible for us to give away the Silk Carbon SL last year) a couple of days ago and told him that Bob Roll needs to shave his head — get rid of that fluff on top.
“Give him a reason to,” said Chuck.
So I said, “How about this. We’ll set him up a LiveStrong Challenge page (on Team Fat Cyclist: Fighting for Susan of course). If we raise $5,000 on his page before the end of the Tour of California, Bob shaves his head.
Scot ran the idea by Bob. Bob didn’t bat an eye. He’s in.
So, yes, as of right now, Bob Roll is a member of Team Fatty (which, I’d like to point out, is currently the top fundraising team in all four event cities).
Let’s get to $5,000 today, so we can get that head shaved ASAP.
Bonus: Scot is looking into the possibility of having Bob (and maybe Phil and Paul) mentioning this challenge on the air. And if we see Bob — cleanshaven — doing one of his interviews, well, that’s worth a donation right there, right?
Some pretty exciting stuff has happened since I originally posted this, so I thought I’d give you an update.
- As of 11:55pm ET, we’ve raised $2183. We’re almost halfway there!
- A number of people have linked to this post via Twitter, including Lance and Doug Ulman, CEO of LiveStrong. Very, very cool. I guess I’m not the only one who likes the idea of Bob shaving his head.
- BikeRadar has a story up about this, too. Thanks, BikeRadar!
You should know that Scot is talking with folks about Bob (and others?) doing something on-screen if we can make this happen. He’s also talking about there being some not-for-sale, can’t-get-it-no-matter-how-bad-you-want-it prizes to be awarded to random contributors. Scot’s sworn me to secrecy until he gets things firmed up, but you’ll have to trust me that it’s worth donating a few bucks.
And not just because you’ll have the pleasure of knowing that part of why Bob’s head is shaved is because of you.
And Now, The Tour of California LiveBlog: Stage 2, Sausalito – Santa Cruz
10:29 Infomercial for Humana. I wonder how much it costs to buy an infomercial. I want an informercial.
10:31 While Phil and Paul recap, I’d like to call attention to something Paula in Boston pointed out. If you take a look at this CyclingNews photo of Mancebo crossing the finish line yesterday, you can quite clearly see that the word “DEAD” is written across his crotch.
Paula wants to know, “Why does Mancebo have the word “DEAD” written against his crotch?”
The answer, Paula, can be found on Rock Racing’s new home page. It proclaims “ROCKS NOT DEAD.” Which makes me wonder why they think that rocks were ever alive.
Regardless, when a rider wears a jacket, the “ROCKS NOT” gets covered up, and the entirely different message — that Mancebo’s crotch is dead — is revealed.
10:38 I’m so pleased that we jumped straight into the racing today.
10:39 Commenter Hat wants to know, whether Bob Roll will shave just the fin or the whole head. All I’m asking for at this time is the fin up top. Once we get to $5000, perhaps we can set a new goal, in exchange for which he shaves his whole head.
10:41 I’ve got to say, it’s pretty awesome to see guys racing across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Kind of fitting that it’s rainy and foggy.
10:47 I just got off the phone with Chuck, and he’s got some great prizes in mind for people who donate. Stuff that can’t be bought anywhere and that any cyclist would kill for. And no, it’s not donated by Amgen.
I’ll reveal what the prizes are as soon as Chuck’s got things finalized. For now, I will just say that you definitely will want to donate to Bob’s page.
10:50 Rabobank rider is off the front. Impossible to tell who, courtesy of rain on camera lenses.
10:55: Yay, ads.
10:55 So if I understand right, there’s a group about 1:30 off the front. Let me be a crazy, wild-eyed conspiracy theorist for a second and predict that they’ll be caught toward the end of the stage and the sprinters will contest the finish line.
I know. Insane.
11:01: First bonus coming up. 10 guys up front.
Annnd… Nierman gets the sprint.
Who is Nierman?
11:04: According to CyclingNews’ liveblog (because I am far, far too lazy to type the names myself), the guys up front are: Jason Mccartney (Team Saxo Bank), Steven Cozza, Thomas Peterson (Garmin – Slipstream), Carlos Barredo (Quick Step), Stef Clement, Grischa Niermann (Rabobank), Markus Zberg (BMC Racing Team), Cameron Evans (OUCH p/b Maxxis), Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell Pro Cycling), Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1).
11:06 Phil and Paul see this breakaway as having a good chance of making it. I dunno, though. Two longish (but easy) climbs coming up. Can they really ride at the same rate as each other for two big climbs.
11:09 The gap is up to 2:40.
11:11 Phil and Paul just went over the GC standings. I’m not a big fan of the way the final 2 laps around town yesterday didn’t count, making it so that Leipheimer, Zabriskie, and Armstrong retain their standings.
11:12: Any chance there’ll be any sun at all during this tour?
11:13 Listening to Phil explain to Hummer how stage racing works. I have to say, Phil does a beautiful job. Phil and Paul are simply fun to listen to. Don’t know how they do it.
11:15: Ad time.
11:19 Lead group now out in front with 3 minutes.
11:21 Rock Racing is riding up front of the peloton. As the camera in front of them points back, you can see that they all have DEAD crotches.
11:22 Oh no, everyone’s picking up musettes. Armstrong had better watch out: you never know when one of those things might attack.
11:23 Paul’s talking about “racing capes.” He means jackets, right? Am I allowed to start calling my jackets “capes,” now?
Even better, am I allowed to wear an actual cape when I ride?
11:25 The lead group is now 3:30ish ahead of the peloton. And the peloton’s all like “OK, fine. Just go.”
11:26 And then the lead group is all like, “OK, we’re going.”
11:27 And so the peloton’s saying, “So, go then.”
11:28 And the chase group says, “OK, I’m gone.”
11:29 And then the ads say, “Hey, it’s our turn!”
11:30 Hat suggests, “Maybe that “dead” is some sort of odd sales pitch for Enzite.” Brilliant!
Do you suppose that guy who plays “Bob” in those commercials gets stopped on the street often, asked for his photograph doing that smile?
11:31 Craig Hummer hopes I’m enjoying the Vs coverage this Presidents’ day. Thanks, Craig. I am enjoying it.
11:32 The road actually looks dry. The riders have got to love that. How spooky would it be to ride at race pace with such a large group on wet slick roads for days on end.
11:34 The road the lead group is climbing totally looks like the roads I used to climb back in Washington. Big trees, lots of green everywhere. Man, sometimes I miss WA.
11:35 Roads are wet again. Lotsa leaves on the road. Those, I can promise you, are slick. If you hit one of those as you’re doing a standing climb, you can zzzzip your tires and down you go.
11:37 I believe Craig Hummer frequently starts his sentences without knowing how they’re going to end.
11:38 Either it’s really dark out or someone needs to reset his white balance.
11:41 Peloton’s starting to break up. Hamilton’s pulling hard, and riders are remembering that this nice kid can be as mean as hell when he’s riding.
11:45 So this climb is pretty mild — 1500 feet of climbing over 6 miles.
11:46 Craig’s looking at the waves and doing what he can to turn the conversation to surfing. Phil pats Craig on the head.
11:51 OK, back from a bathroom break. I know, TMI. What did I miss? Just another Enzyte commercial? OK.
11:52 Speaking of Enzyte commercials, those are definitely the most prevalant ads during this race. Question: why?
11:53 Weirdest Craig Hummer moment so far. He’s rambling, then says, “this reminds me of a song…” and then says nothing at all for about 15 seconds.
He then introduces a clip, where the audio doesn’t match the video and seems like a weird dub in.
Worse, the guy in the clip says, “When you’re a cancer survivor, every day’s a good day.” Which, besides being cliche, is simply not true.
11:56 Just checked Bob Roll’s Team Fatty LiveStrong page: he’s earned $215 so far. A great start!
11:58 Brandy points out that in addition to DEAD CROTCHES, Rock Racing has some very angry knickers. Check out the photo: http://tinyurl.com/bgknzk.
12:00 The VS comedian girl was just on, with her pretending to pick up on a racer as he rode on his rollers. The thing is, the audio and video were off, so it looked like the racer had the female comedian’s voice. It was peculiar, but still not funny. Keep trying, Vs comedian girl!
12:02 Vs has lost picture again — for the same reason the picture was gone for half of yesterday’s race.
12:03 Bob’s asking Jim Birrell about why they neutralized the circuits. It was for the safety of the riders, says Jim.
Hey, that’s what helmets are for, man.
12:04 In the absence of cameras being able to broadcast, we now see Paul, Phil, and Craig Hummer standing, talking, and desperately recapping.
Craig needs to iron his shirt
12:05 Congratulations to KanyonKris for hitting his LiveStrong Leg Shaving Challenge goal: $667. Check out his blog for hilarious photos.
12:08 Rain is predicted for pretty much the entire tour. I asked Chuck last night whether we can expect camera signal loss like this a lot. He sayd, “Yes.”
In other words, the announcers have considerable tap-dancing ahead of them for the next several days.
12:10 Just in case you’re tangentially interested in the race itself, (Vs not currently talking about what’s happening on the course), CyclingNews reports the peloton is 4:05 behind the lead group.
12:12 Johan’s Twitter feed has been strangely silent for the past hour. His last post is just that “There are no race favorites in the breakaway.” Meaning that as far as he’s concerned, they’re welcome to go on ahead?
12:15 Question: If Bob Roll were going to mispronounce “Tour of California” a la Tour DAY France, what would it sound like?
12:18 I am no longer announcing whenever it’s ad time, because they have successfully beat me down.
But yes, it’s ad time.
12:19 You know, I need to admit that I would probably do a terrible job of announcing when there’s nothing to announce. Probably worse than Hummer.
12:21 Roll interviews Armstrong. Between the LiveStrong helmet, LiveStrong jacket, LiveStrong glasses, and Mellow Johnny’s bike hat, it’s not especially easy to tell that Armstrong races for Astana. As in, there is no physical evidence of it on camera.
Not that I’m complaining.
12:26 You know, I am ridiculously sick today. I am not certain that I am making any sense at all.
This set of ads is for hair growth, ITT-Tech, and snake-oil malware remedies. This must have been a really cheap ad block to buy.
12:28 We’ve hit $390 on the “Shave Bob Roll’s Head” challenge today. As a reminder, if we can hit $5000 before the end of the tour, Bob Roll will shave the fin off the top of his head. And there will be other cool prizes for folks who donate — stuff I can’t mention, but which you will definitely want.
12:30 Bob interviews Leipheimer. Leipheimer gives Horner credit for figuring out what to do in yesterday’s stage.
12:31 Dead air for 15 seconds. Everyone wracks their brains. There must be something to say!
12:34 You know it’s too bad we can’t see anything right now, because from what I understand of where the race is right now — a wet downhill with a lot of debris on the road due to wind and rain — there are bound to be a buncha flats and near misses. It’s got to be pretty spooky.
12:36 And we have photos again!
Lead’s down to about 4:30. The lead group is still all together.
No way will the peloton let the lead stay that big, right?
12:38 Is there anyone out there who actually follows pro racing who has a good sense of who the likely winner would be from the lead group?
12:40 Have I really been liveblogging for more than two hours? I wonder if the management knows that I start getting my overtime rate after two hours of liveblogging.
12:42 I’m taking a little break to get Susan something to eat and help her come out into the family room where I’m watching this. Back in a few!
1:22 I’ve moved Susan to the family room, gotten her and me some lunch, and have taken an entire box of DayQuil. So now I’m back, ready for some more semi-coherent, brain-addled liveblogging.
1:23 So what did I miss?
Evidently not much. The same gang of 10 continues to lead.
1:24 Oh, this is choice. Phil just mentioned that ARMSTRONG HAS COLLIDED WITH A MOTORCYCLE and Vs of course interrupts with…an ad.
1:25 Now we’re back, and nobody is talking any longer about Armstrong’s crash. Uh, this seems like something worth bringing up again, felllas?
Gap is about 5 minutes.
1:26 Evidently there was a massive pileup — 15 riders and a parked car. So, two crashes:
- Armstrong hit by a race photographer’s motorcycle, he’s on a spare.
- 15-bike pileup, with one rider winding up under a parked car.
So, let’s celebrate with some ads!
1:29 Seems to me that this crash could be just what the lead group needs to make this breakaway stick.
1:31 If people are crashing on this wide, flat straightway, what’s the big downhill push to the finish going to be like?
1:33 Gap is down to 4:31. Are there any really great climbers in the lead group? How about descenders?
1:34 Or is it that the gap is at 5 minutes? I believe the race radio is being sponsored by www.random.org.
1:40 Let’s play a game of “Craig Hummer Keeps You Hydrated.” Anytime Craig rephrases what Phil or Paul just said, take a drink of water.
Don’t play this game if you’re not close to a toilet.
1:41 Paul doesn’t think the lead group is going to hold. I side with Paul on this one.
But just in case the lead group does survive, who should I be rooting for?
1:43 Hummer recaps what Phil and Paul just mentioned about Lance changing clothes. Drink!
1:45 Armstrong — very briefly — appears in Astana blue. Then he puts his yellow vest on, while riding. If I were to try that, I would crash and die.
1:46 Andy Jacques-Maynes — the Bissell guy who wound up under a car — is on his way to a hospital. Man, that sucks.
1:47 Is that an Astana guy riding with a Camelbak? Are those allowed?
1:52 I just got a UPS package: 2 Mary Bars, sent to me from Thom at Unreal Cycles. Thanks, Thom!
1:54 Susan’s nurse is here. Gotta pay attention to her for a while. Back when she’s gone.
2:20 OK, I’m back. Nurse says things are going well for Susan — oxygen levels are good, a sore Susan’s had on her heel is getting better. I think Susan’s getting my cold, though. Yech.
2:21 Once you’ve walked away from a race, it’s hard to figure out what’s changed.
2:22 Looks like those guys are wishing they hadn’t ditched all their wet weather gear.
2:23 Looks like Leipheimer’s trying to bridge to the lead group, solo? That is a hardcore move.
2:28: Place your bets. Will Leipheimer catch the current stage leader, Barredo? Or is that even the objective?
2:30 Barredo has been rejoined and passed by Peterson and McCartney.
Leipheimer’s caught Barredo.
I am now officially rooting for Leipheimer.
2:32 Paul calls Leipheimer’s move “grandiose.” Sure, let’s go with that.
Leipheimer catches Peterson and McCartney. Peterson hangs on.
2:33 Peterson tells Leipheimer that he can arrange to get Leipheimer an “all you can eat burrito card” if Leipheimer will back off.
Leipheimer considers the deliciousness that is Chipotle.
Oh good, we break away from this incredible race to show the finish lines and some scenic panoramas.
2:35 OK, I want to make something clear. I don’t fault VS for the camera problems they’re having. The weather is making good signal impossible. When they can get a signal, they’re giving great coverage.
And as for the race itself: awesome. Seriously, Mancebo’s victory yesterday, Leipheimer’s wicked (grandiose?) bridge today? Cancellera’s awesome prologue win, following by an abandon?
This is a very dramatic and exciting race. I am really enjoying the Tour of California so far.
2:37 Ads! OK, since I just got all lovey-dovey over VS and their coverage, I suppose I should also allow them to want to make a profit in their business.
Besides, I need to go make (late) lunch for the kids.
2:45 Lunch is made. Twins are fed.
2:46 Peterson is hanging on to Leipheimer. Leipheimer seems to be willing to do all the pulling. Laying it all on the line.
I love blunt-force racing.
2:47 Fattier (nice name) asks, “Fatty, if you had a Tour team, which fast-food restaurant would be the title sponsor? You could find something better than Chipotle I assume…” Well, it would probably be Lone Star Tacqueria, a local place that has the best fish tacos of … well, just about anywhere.
2:50 I’m pretty sure Hummer just said that Leipheimer is “the virtual leader in France.” Is it possible that Craig thinks he’s commentating the TdF right now?
2:51 I dunno. It looks like Leipheimer’s about to ride Peterson off his wheel. Is there a better feeling in the whole world than doing that?
2:52 No, Peterson’s hanging on.
They’re now at the bottom of the descent and in into the home stretch. Leipheimer’s doing all the pulling. He doesn’t care that much about getting the stage, but really — according to me — Peterson is kind of a jerk if he pips Leipheimer at the finish line after Leipheimer did all the work.
I know, that’s not the way things work.
2:53 Question of the moment: If you were Peterson, would you take the stage win after being sucked along by Leipheimer like this? Or would you let it go?
2:57 Or do you think that Leipheimer has the legs to take the stage anyway?
2:58 Suns out and the roads are dry at the finish line.
I’d like to take this moment to acknowledge that my assertion that this race would go to the sprinters was both wrongheaded and stupid.
2:59 There goes Peterson. Leipheimer lets him go.
Chasing group is not more than a minute behind.
3:00 OK, the chasing group is about 1:40 behind. I admit I was wrong yet again.
Mancebo was far enough behind that he’ll lose that jersey to Leipheimer.
3:02 I wonder if, considering the effort he just made to get it, if Leipheimer will be willing to give up the yellow jersey for the rest of the race. The ToC isn’t like the TdF — it’s not weeks and weeks long. If you lose the jersey early in the race, you don’t have weeks to get it back.
3:05 And it’s time for ads.
3:07 Chuck sends in a photo of what it looks like in the editing room:
3:10 Leipheimer gets on stage to pick up the yellow jersey. Yay Levi! He worked for that one.
Leipheimer embarrassedly apologizes to the podium girls for not having shaved his face before getting the customary kiss. Dude’s polite.
3:12 Bob with Levi. Levi says the move wasn’t premeditated. Says it was an “old school Bob Roll move.” Took off because he didn’t want to be cold. Ha.
3:13 Man, I’ve been here forever. Thanks for reading.